Saturday, April 28, 2012

When a man is tired of blogging, he is tired of life …

squeaky-clean new kitchen

Samuel Johnson
as that prodigious wordsmith Dr Johnson might have said if he hadn’t died over 200 years before the advent of the blog. Anyhow, this is just an unnecessarily over-elaborate way of saying that my lack of recent activity isn’t because I’m tired of blogging—or London, for that matter—just tired.

the old kitchen
After three weeks taken in March and a week in April, we had a ten-day window of vacant opportunity to get into our holiday rental cottage, rip out and replace the kitchen and have it all ready for the next guests.  It seemed a TV-cliché with us racing against a deadline to get the job done (just without a film crew and doomsaying presenter).

There used to be just a pair of gas burners and a separate oven and, as one of the main reasons for coming to France must be to enjoy the gastronomy, we felt it high time to improve the facilities.  Andrew and Sue, loyal volunteers, were staying in the gite while helping us in the woods and we discussed our ideas over dinner.  The following morning, Andrew (retired architect) produced a CAD drawing of the kitchen as was and offered his opinions of the way we could make best use of this small space.

new chick

A new ‘proper’ cooker now has a shiny cooker hood above it and we’ve bought a new A+ fridge and sink with drainer.  There is more worktop, which we made from reclaimed pine joists, de-nailed, planned up and glued together.  Andrew and Sue returned for another stint so Andrew could help me put it all together and, although we had floor tiling repairs, wiring, plumbing, building, painting and cleaning, it was all ready in plenty of time …
baby bunnies

… in fact, more time than we thought.  The postscript to this story is that we waited expectantly for our next guests that Saturday evening … and waited … and waited.  We always ask our guests to indicate their planned arrival time but Gabrielle suggested that we should also ask them to call us if they were going to be delayed.  After she'd mentioned this for the third time, I decided to check in the diary and found that they were not due to arrive until Wednesday!

During these works, smallholding life continues unabated.  Lambing may be over but we’ve still got babies popping out all over the place: one chick and six bunnies.  A pair of pigs has arrived and we’re awaiting a nucleus of bees that will be delivered as soon as the weather is favourable.   

And I’ve been writing as well, with two articles published in a French organic gardening magazine, Les 4 saisons du jardin bio.
So you can see why we might be a touch tired, just not tired of smallholding, blogging or even, Dr Johnson, London.